Working as a teacher in the UK

How to work as a teacher in the UK

After the years of crisis in Europe recently and with unemployment rates as high as 50% for young people in some areas, it is normal that recent graduates are looking for an alternative in other countries.

UK has been a top destination for European immigrants in recent years and out of these, many are already working as teachers in the British educational system.

If you want to know how to enter the world of education, this is the basic info you need:

Steps to work as a teacher in Britain

It is not complicated: procedures are often quite delayed at the beginning and it takes patience, but once the bureaucracy is done, it’s all up to you.

  1. Getting the QTS
  2. Find job offers through agencies
  3. Find offers using the TES, which is the largest teachers’ organization in the UK.


It means “Disclosure and Barring Service” and is basically the same as the Criminal Record Certificate you can apply for at police stations in other countries.

You cannot request it directly yourself, but when you go to sign up with an employment agency, they can arrange it for you. It normally costs £44.

Once you have it for the first time, you can use it for one year in all the other agencies and, as the process is telematic, you can update it for 13 pounds annually without having to request it from zero.


If you have worked as a teacher in another country and you have a Master in Education (or the old CAP – Certificate of Pedagogical Aptitude), you will have to qualify as a teacher in Britain by getting the QTS – Qualified Teacher Status.

The authority issuing the QTS is the NCTL (National College for Teaching & Leadership).

The form you have to fill in is online:

Documents required:

  • Proof of identity (passport / ID)
  • Your country ID if you currently have it.
  • Degrees and training certificates

If you have worked in some countries, you are automatically eligible for the QTS, but you must submit a sworn translation of your:

  • University degree
  • Master degree in education or Certificate of Pedagogical Aptitude

Send in the form with the requested documentation. They then have a period of four months to respond and the QTS will be valid from the date of receipt.

Recruitment agencies

Once you have the QTS, you can sign up with the agencies that best fit you to find a job. My only recommendation is to try to sign up with an agency that is registered in the REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation), so it is recognized with the appropriate quality standards.

You can check the registered agencies in the REC on this link:

If you choose one that is unregistered, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be problems. This is only a recommendation, since there are thousands of agencies throughout the country and it is difficult to know where you are going to end up.

You can see the “TripAdvisor” of agencies in the following website (RMTA), where teachers score agencies according to their opinions, experiences, schools quality, etc. I think it will be very useful for you:

CV and references

It is very important to have a good British-style curriculum and provide two references of employment from the last two years, as it is essential for the education sector. If you’ve never worked before, you may be interested in volunteering for a bit to get them.


They’ll ask for many things, so it is better to prepare them all:

Start working as a Teacher Assistant

A good option to enter the British education market is to opt for teacher assistant positions. The requirements are lower and your job is to help the permanent teacher attending to students with special needs.

Those are usually temporary jobs offered by agencies and there are enough offers, so it is a simple path to the school job market and a way to gain experience.

If you have worked in compensatory education or schools with children with special needs, make sure you include it in the CV as it is highly valued.

What are the requirements?

The most important thing: NO university degree is required, but previous experience, like having volunteered or worked with children before, is valued. Other than that, there are the DBS checks. More info:

Official Authorities / Teaching Councils:

More information:

Could you tell us about your experience? Feel free to leave a comment!

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